Monday, May 26, 2008

exiles at home

how many times did you wake up to find someone beside you, whom you wanted to awaken, too?

it is easy to live solitude, hard to know it. and when silence becomes a shout, it is because it could not whisper to you, or because you could not hear it when it did!

i and my generation are the losers in a war we were never old enough to fight. most of our lives was spent in preparation for it; yet, just when we were about ready, we had to explain to ourselves, why we ought to fight it, why war should be the way to the ends we were taught were universally ours.

we either religiously took to the old teachings; or as religiously rejected them and more religiously sought new ones. the most confused amongst us, we made disbelief our cause. we diebelieved so piously, we evaporated existentially; so that it may not be fair to speak of us with the pronoun we or they.

we lost.

ours was a generation audacious enough to question all values taken for granted - and sometimes, even to re-define them, which needed far more courage. we turned love into an experience instead of an utopia or lust. "democracy" finds a meaning now, because young women were burning their bras in the late 60s. freedom became a palpable word because it was a title in jimi hendrix's first posthumous album. even when our motives were not always honest and pure, we honestly chased the truth. we wanted to know. we re-wrote the rules of knowledge.

why, then, though we seemed to be so right, did we lose? maybe, because we questioned, also, the meaning(s) and the value of winning? how many success stories between 50 and 60 today are really proud of whom they have turned out to be, in comparison to whom they hoped to become? how many of this generation recognize anything in today's world, of the world they once thought possible?

we lost, not because we went wrong, took the wrong turn, twist, road, fall, whatever into the world we denied. we lost because at that point, our loss felt certain. it was the only certainty that hit us and facing certainty, we stopped doubting denying. we stopped asking questions and the wind dropped out of our kites. one by one, we started to accept; so that gradually, each of us caved in (*).

that makes us the only generation in modern history, left with nothing to truly believe in. that is why too many fanatics, in every walk from politics, to business, to religion emerged from "our" ranks: because action is the fool's way of convincing himself what he is doing is right!

exiles at home! wherever we are, we are home... but home is nowhere!

if one believes in fighting, one need not believe in what he fights for. we fought without that belief. we were probably the only generation that saw the futility in fighting for fighting's sake.

we believed in peace... but without the ability to find a novel way to learn and teach it. in our ignorance, we made the fatal mistake. we took to the ways we had already diagnosed as wrong at the beginning: fighting and preaching, thus shoving truths down ours and everyone's throats.

the victors always take something of the vanquished. i do not know who the victors were in our case. our war was, at least we believed, for everyone. so, when we lost, our opponents did, too. i think, instead of taking something from us, whomever vanquished us left something with us: their fight, against which we had waged our war.

(*) i still remember the day i first heard pink floyd's dark side of the moon (1973), their greatest chart success and the feeling of betrayal that pervaded all my senses. every note and nuance was full of answers instead of questions. it was as if one moon i sailed by had really turned all and forever dark.

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